Now that you are (not) an expert in pre-Spanish Puerto Rican history, it's time for a super-brief modern Puerto Rican history lesson.
But, since I've been a SLOTH this week, I am going to turn that job over to my good friend at Speaking Boricua, one of my favorite blogs about Puerto Rico.
Speaking Boricua's Speedy History of Puerto Rico:
Brief History of Puerto Rico, Part 1
Brief History of Puerto Rico, Part 2
Also interesting on that site (besides ALL of the posts) is a series of posts on the African American heritage in Puerto Rico. This is especially interesting to me because I spent the entire last week in a clinic in Loíza, a town of slave descendants and the epicenter of African American cultural heritage in Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, it also one of the most impoverished areas of the island, so I saw a lot of sad stuff. More on that later, but for some background, read these great posts!
Speaking Boricua's Posts on Puerto Rico's African heritage:
Part 1 (general history)
Part 2 (Museum in San Juan on African heritage)
Part 3 (Loíza)
Part 4a (Bomba dance of the slaves in Puerto Rico)
Part 4 (words from African languages that have become part of Puerto Rican Spanish)
Part 5 (features a poem I was obsessed with in college Spanish class)
More to come soon, I promise!